Rising New Zealand boxer Junior Fa opens his 2019 campaign with main event status on a heavyweight card in the United States this weekend.
The unbeaten Aucklander (16-0, 9 KOs) will fight former French champion Newfel Ouatah (16-2, 9 KOs) in Columbus, Ohio on Sunday (NZT).
Fa is ranked No 9 with the WBO on the back of his last win, an easy knockout of Argentina's Rogelio Omar Rossi on the undercard of Joseph Parker's Christchurch fight last December.
The 2m Ouatah will represent more of a challenge for Fa in what needs to be a moving year for the 29-year-old who is handled by the management of WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
It will be the fourth fight in the United States for the ambitious Fa in a promotion that is run as part of a sports festival organised by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Fellow Auckland heavyweight Hemi Ahio has been handed a great opportunity to advance his unbeaten career (12-0, 8 KOs) by making his American debut on the undercard.
Ahio takes on 30-year-old American Ed Fountain who has 12 wins and four losses.
Meanwhile, top New Zealand heavyweight Joseph Parker, the former WBO champion, has made some moves on the rankings after his last win against Mexian-American Alexander Flores.
Parker is at No 6 with the WBC and is back in the mix with the IBF, returning at No 13 after his status took a beating on the back of consecutive losses to British rivals Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte last year.
Parker is still looking for an opponent for his opening fight of the year after negotiations with rugged Brit Dereck Chisora fell over.
Parker has been talked of as an option for Tyson Fury after the giant Brit's hope-for rematch with Wilder was put on hold.